How many people amoung us today actually know the true meaningof the 12 days of christmas or the origins of many traditions surrounding Christmas? I have to say not a lot. The 12 days of Christmas refers to the 12 day celebration starting on December 25th and ending with the Feast of the Epiphany. Which according to the Western Church--not the Orthodox church who celebrate the Ephaniy as being connected to the Wedding of Canna where Jesus turned water into wine--is the day celebrating the arrival of the Magi or three wise men from the east to pay homage to Jesus after his birth.
Now according to my world History Professor at Humboldt State university, the time of Jesus birth and December 25th are not possible. For one thing the Roman census was not held at that time of year. And the reason for Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem was for the census. But why do we celebrate on that day? Well this is because the church in order to bring Pagan cultures into the fold would adjust things to align with Pagan holidays and thing. Most people may not realize it but Christmas and its symbols are traditions are littered with Pangan things.
December 25th was the feast of Invictus Du Sol, the Invincable sun. Who over coming death and darkness was reborn. Then you have the feast of Saternallia which was a feast lasting several days. Where you have the lower classes going from door to door being given food and being treated like welcome guests. you also have mummers. This is the pagan origins of the 12 days of Christmas. In fact the caroling from door to door as well as mummers doing skits comes from this as well as giving presents to each other. Saternaillia is one of the major influences of christmas.
Christams trees, wreaths, and yule logs are also of Pagan origins. Though these ones are not from the meditranian but from the norse and druids. They also had winter festivals which were borrowed from.
The fact is that many of our Christian holidays are filled with nonchristian things. In fact Christmas wasn't even widely celebrated for centuries and was very controversial because of the Pagan elements. I feel that its important to know what your doing. So we should understand where these traditions come from. Yes i feel that it is good to celebrate the birth of Christ but on the other hand I am wary about some of these things.